ASUU president, Biodun Ogunyemi, says the union has come up with an alternative pay system for its members.
According to him, the proposal would be university-based and could be easily monitored by governing councils.
Contrary to claims that the union is against IPPIS because it wants to perpetuate corruption, Ogunyemi said:
“It is easier to control corruption at the lower level than at the centre. Given the mechanism we have in place, the laws governing the universities have said where the governing council is not performing, dissolve it and set up another one. Government is shying away from that because they are politicising appointments into the councils and would not want to offend their friends.
“The details of the proposal are being worked out by our team of experts. We are concerned about probity, transparency, and accountability as any other person in this country because we have no other job than working in the system. Let nobody say ASUU’s opposition to IPPIS is an endorsement of corruption. That is cheap blackmail and cannot stand.”
He said further: “We met with the Senate leadership, and the lawmakers have given us a challenge. From our discussion, we believe that they are willing to listen to us and we also believe that through the National Assembly, our voice would be heard that we are not against the war against corruption. We are fully in support, but IPPIS cannot guarantee the war against corruption.”
He added: “IPPIS is so carelessly handled that those who are already on it are suffering in silence. We have our colleagues who are consulting for teaching hospitals, who told us what they have been suffering. Salaries have been inconsistently paid. They have to leave their stations for Abuja to rectify the problem. There are cases where they could travel for five or six times, paying for their transportation to Abuja, to correct an error in their salaries. Are we going to subject scholars from all parts of the world to that kind of arrangement?
“The mandate of a university is research. To do good research, there must be an enabling environment, which includes international comparison. I challenge the government to tell us any country in the world where the payment of lecturers are centralised. Is it in the United States, South Africa, United Kingdom, and Australia?
“Nigerian government should stop domesticating us at a time we should be internationalising. When people say ASUU is endorsing corruption by rejecting IPPIS, it is because they don’t know what universities are established to do. Universities are supposed to be at the cutting edge of dynamism. IPPIS would not just slow us down; it would reverse our ranking.”